Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Christopher B. Jones
Hawaiâi has implemented renewable energy goals that assume continued investments by solar consumers who seem unaware of their role in the policy's success. Without the renewable resource generation that will come from these investments, the state will be unable to achieve its energy mandate. Using Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith's advocacy coalition framework and Ajzen's theory of planned behavior as the foundation, the purpose of this study was to better understand the perspectives of potential solar consumers on the Island of Oâahu regarding the state's renewable portfolio standards, their level of knowledge regarding consumer impact on this policy, and their perceptions of the roles of the public utilities commission and electric utility company in the implementation of projects associated with achieving the state's energy goals. Data were collected through interviews with 17 participants who represented a small portion of consumers who had begun the solar program application process but had not received approval to install panels at their residences. These data were inductively coded and subjected to a thematic analysis. Key findings indicate that consumers lack sufficient education about the state's energy goals, and that their participation in the policy process is essential for the continued growth of customer-sited solar installations. Implications for positive social change stemming from this study include recommendations for policymakers and solar program developers to engage in more inclusive educational outreach with consumers regarding the state's required renewable energy goals.